Although you might be putting a ton of effort into eating healthy, some of those so-called “health foods” may not be sending your diet in the best of directions. Read on to find out which foods sound healthy, but really aren’t.
1. Multigrain and Wheat Breads
At first glance, these breads sound like a good option – packed full of whole grains, and definitely better than white flours. And that would likely be true if they were, in fact, whole grain.
But it’s important to check the label. Often, breads that are marketed as “multigrain” or “whole wheat” still contain “bleached” or “unbleached enriched flour” as their main ingredient, meaning that there might be whole grains in it but it’s not a fully whole-grain bread.
2. Energy Bars
By themselves, energy bars aren’t awful if you choose one that has a good combination of natural ingredients.
However, when you start snacking on energy bars in between meals, that’s where the problem starts unless you’re looking to bulk up.
Let’s take a Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch Clif Bar, for example – organic, whole grains, a good ratio of protein to carbs. But one bar contains 7 grams of fat and 240 calories.
Similar energy bars can pack a lot of calories and fat into your day if you use them as snacks rather than meal replacements.
3. Dried fruit
While dried fruit can be a great source of nutrients, it’s easy to totally overdo it because they lack the water content of unprocessed fruit. And that means tons of sugar – just one serving of raisins, for example, contains 24 grams.
4. Reduced-Fat Peanut Butter
It’s true that peanut butter contains a significant amount of fat, but for the most part, it’s healthy fat. Reduced fat versions, on the other hand, contain less fat, but it is often replaced with hydrogenated vegetable oils (linked with heart disease) and carbohydrate-packed fillers like maltodextrin.
With smoothies, the devil is in the details. While a balance of veggies, fruits, and proteins can make a very healthy smoothie, those that you can buy on the go are often packed with too much fruits and too little veggies, which translate to very high sugar content.
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